Sunday, January 14, 2018

Coals to Newcastle

So, late last year, I started listening to podcasts. It took me a while to get on that bandwagon. Partly because there were so many options, I was a little overwhelmed. Partly because I wasn't sure I was interested in any of the options people were recommending to me. And partly because I was convinced I wouldn't be able to concentrate at work when I had to also focus on what I was listening to.

It turns out, I love podcasts. And sometimes my work is too involved to listen to them - but sometimes I'm doing stuff like data entry. And pods are perfect for that kind of thing.


Anyway, my entry into podcasts were the Crooked Media company podcasts (Pod Save America, Lovett or Leave It, Pod Save the World, Pod Save the People, and With Friends Like These). They have since expanded since I started listening to them (yay!) but I've started wanting a little more variety in what I'm listening to. So, my brother and sister-in-law recommended a bundle of podcasts. I've tried some, but not all, of the ones that sounded interesting.

One of my favorites of these recommendations was Lexicon Valley by Slate. It's so cool. They talk about words and expressions, the etymology and history of these words and phrases. It is so, so cool. And one of my favorite things about this podcast is that they often use classic movies to cite usage (for instance, see how Cary Grant uses this expression in The Awful Truth - it was a really popular expression of the time). Anyway, listening to the podcast inspired me to write a brief blog post on expressions that I've heard. I'm going to just write about one and save the other for a rainy day (or busy week). This might be a recurring series that I include. It might be a one or two time deal. We'll see how it goes!


So, last night, I watched The Philadelphia Story with two of my roommates. One of them had seen it and loved it a few years ago and so we were introducing the film to our newest roommate. I love The Philadelphia Story for many reasons, not the least of which is the excellent script. And I've learned some things from the script.

Today, we're going to talk about "coals to Newcastle." In the movie, when Jimmy Stewart's "Mike" Macaulay Connor goes to Cary Grant's C.K. Dexter Haven's house, armed with a bottle of champagne and a pretty hefty head start in the drinking department. Mike hands Dexter the bottle of champagne. Dexter places the champagne on the table. Mike looks at the table and says, "Oh! I wonder if I might have a drink." And then Dexter responds with, "Certainly. Coals to Newcastle."


This is an expression that baffled me for years. And it wasn't until I was an adult and looked it up that it finally made sense and I finally got the joke. Newcastle was a major exporter of coal so the original expression of "carrying coals to Newcastle" indicated a pointless action. Similar to "selling ice to eskimos." Dexter's line took on actual meaning when I finally understood what he was talking about.


What words or expressions have you learned from watching classic movies?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

All right, I'll remember: must scold, must nag, mustn't be too pretty in the morning.

Hello! How was everyone's first week of 2018?

Mine was pretty crazy. I went to a family reunion on my mom's side; there were about 30 people there. There was tons of food and great conversation. I left my laptop at home so I could make the most of my opportunity to talk to relatives, some of whom I hadn't seen in 10 years. So, I know you'll forgive me for taking time off blogging.

That being said, I'd like to make this post sort of NYE themed, even if it is a little late for that. The fact is, I love New Year's. I love making resolutions and having some quiet time of reflection and introspection. I love the idea of new starts. I love keeping track of my goals so I can look back at them later and see what I've accomplished. The great thing about this style of resolution-keeping is that I'm not super stressed about keeping resolutions for one year. Some resolutions take years to take hold. Some never do. And that's ok. In my opinion, one of the best parts of life is expanding, growing, and learning. If I resolve to sew one piece a month, it doesn't really matter if I completely make that. If I do, that's awesome! If I only make one, then that's one piece I didn't have. I've made so many sewing resolutions over the years. Last year was the first year where I moved past my fear of sewing and actually made things. Am I still afraid of sewing? Absolutely. But, I'm still excited about all of the possibilities of what I can do and I'm so excited that I spent both of my Amazon gift cards that I got for Christmas on sewing supplies!

I've decided to write this post on some blog-related and classic movie-related resolutions.

1. Consistently blog. I'd really like to develop this as a habit, even if I don't write posts of the same length and depth and even if I don't cover all of the topics that I'd like.

And on that topic...

2. Stop apologizing. I can't even count the number of times I've started a blog post with an apology. It's a defense mechanism. A gut reaction. Half the time, I'm not so much apologizing to my readers as I am to myself. But I need to be more forgiving and accepting of the fact that my life is busy and sometimes posting will fall by the wayside. And that's okay!


3. Continue watching new movies. I feel as though I've been pretty good about this the past few years but I'd particularly like to watch more old movies I've never seen before. I don't have any specific titles in mind but if I think of any, I'll let you know. I'd like to set a goal for one a month or something but, to be honest, they can be difficult to acquire.


4. Watch the movies I own. I own over 300 movies. And, I'd like to add, they're all legally acquired. Have I seen them all? Absolutely not. But, I'd like to. I think I'd like to try one of those a month to see how long it takes me to get through them. These include (but are not limited to)

  • 3 Sailors and a Girl
  • The Goodbye Girl
  • Holiday in Mexico
  • Orphans of the Storm
  • Beach Party
  • The Toast of New Orleans
  • That Midnight Kiss
  • Lady on a Train
  • Can't Help Singing
  • Made For Each Other
  • Behave Yourself
  • The Lady Says No
  • Double Dynamite
  • Higher and Higher
  • Day-Time Wife
  • I'll Never Forget You
  • Cafe Metropole
  • The Misfits
  • Bus Stop
  • Dinner at Eight
  • Horse Feathers
Okay, looking at this list, I'm pretty sure I could watch two a month - particularly since there are titles I didn't even list!

5. Complete about 12 outfits that are inspired by movies/stars. This includes  sewing outfits and also putting them together from pieces I already own. As happened last year, some of the inspirations will be a little loose, but that's why they're inspirations and not recreations. I'm also going to expand the criteria to include some newer movies. I made a robe inspired by Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day recently and there's a dress in The Princess Diaries 2 that I've had my eye on for ages.

6. Get back into embroidery. Christmas of 2016 I decided to craft all of my gifts. It was an ambitious undertaking. I did it, but I was pretty burned out by the end. And when Galentines Day rolled around last February, I spent an entire day embroidering gifts for my friends. After that, I barely made anything until December. I'd like to get back into it and continue working on a project I've long wanted to complete: embroider pieces inspired by classic movie scenes.

7. Make more coasters. I really love my classic movie coasters. I'd like to make more, perfect the process, and start a collection. Who knows? Maybe eventually I can start a shop.

8. Start a vlog. This is an idea I've only recently started considering. I think I'd like to start a classic movie vlog that ties in to this blog. The thing is, I want it to be fun and not a drudgery. And I can't switch from this format to that format because some things either wouldn't work as well because I'd have to do them live as opposed to taking pictures - sewing, cooking, crafting, baking - and I'm no where near confident in my abilities to do that. But I think video would be a better venue for talking about movies that I like and discussing scenes that I like. I feel like I can better articulate my excitement for things and better indicate tone. But I'm not entirely sure if I'm sold on this. I'd definitely love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

I'll be in bed at midnight so Happy New Year!



I'm not going to apologize this time for taking a blogging break. Last week was an emotionally rough week, and this week was Christmas. Next week I'll be at a family reunion, so I won't be blogging again until later in January.

However, I did want to wish everyone a happy new year! I hope 2018 is full of joy, hope, growth, and the best kind of change!


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Well, you must admit I've got pretty good taste

The Thin Man (1934) is one of my favorite Christmas movies. I feel as though it's in the category of Die Hard where you have to argue that it is, in fact, in the Christmas category. But the Christmas morning scene is one of my favorites in the whole movie. It's so funny. And I inevitably think of it every Christmas:

What are some of your favorite unorthodox Christmas movies?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Well, you're not exactly Superman but you're awfully available.

Fashion inspiration post!

So I'm going to warn you that this is one of my loose inspirations. I absolutely love the outfit Vera Ellen wears in White Christmas (1954) when she proposes to Danny Kaye's Phil Davis. I love the wide circle skirt and the black top, pulled together with the red belt. So classy! 

I did my own version of that - instead of Vera Ellen's black and white gingham skirt, I have a black and grey plaid. And I didn't have a white turtle neck so I just went with the v-neck black top. And paired it with a red skirt. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017


My goodness. One week into my whole "I'm going to post twice a week" and I missed the second post. Ah well. Another week, another try. I'm going to also attempt to give myself a pass since it is December. However, I'm one of those people who fills up her schedule with events and plans at every opportunity. And then I yearn for quiet times. It's a bit silly. Anyway...

I've been on a bit of a sappy Christmas movie binge lately. You know, the hallmark channel flavor of Christmas movies. They're completely over the top and ridiculous. Usually about a character (typically a woman) who doesn't understand the true meaning of Christmas and comes to discover it after falling in love. Yadayadayada. I realize a lot of people truly enjoy these and cry and revel in them. So, I shall attempt not to be too scathing. But, I do enjoy making fun of them. I even made a bingo board to check off as I watch them!

I took a break tonight from my recent programming to watch a good, solid classic. I sort of jumped the gun on Christmas movies this year so now I'm trying to pace myself. Tonight, I watched Christmas in Connecticut (1945). I love this movie!

If you've never seen it, the premise is that Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is a writer who pens a popular article about cooking and her life in her farm in Connecticut with her husband and baby. The hitch is that she's actually a single woman, living in New York City with no baby, no farm, and no idea how to cook. When her publisher invites a war hero to her farm for Christmas, Elizabeth has to think fast on how she's going to come up with a farm, a husband, and a baby in time.

I love this movie. I love Elizabeth, I love Jefferson Jones. I love Uncle Felix. And there are so many good quotes!!

This is a movie I discovered from other bloggers. It's a Christmas tradition I started as an adult. And I love it!

Do any of you have favorites you discovered via blogs?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

That's what I just said

First post of December!

I'm going to a crafting post today. Why? Because I already have a craft to share. Convenient, eh?

One thing I've discovered about myself as an adult is that I love word art. I'm guessing it has something to do with my addiction to movies and how I tend to watch movies over and over again until I have them memorized. Depending on who I'm with, quoting movies can integrate seamlessly into the way I talk (when I'm with my sisters especially). Even when I'm with people who I know won't get the references, I still quote movies and then explain them to my friends (My friends are really quite patient people). So, it stands to reason that any art I create tends to have words involved - paintings, coasters, even embroidery often includes quotes.

So, when I was working through the A-Z crafting project last year, I decided on P for Painting and made up a piece. This is one of my favorite jokes in White Christmas (1954) and it's a line my sisters and I often quote when we talk about the movie.

For the background, I decided to use the little fake mountain scene the characters create in the dining car when they sing "Snow." I was always intrigued by that scene when I was younger because it took me years to catch the moment when Phil and Betty create it. And I always thought it was a crazy how fast the little sculpture appeared.

Anyone else make art based on movie quotes?